Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Potting up tomatoes

by Sarah - May 27th, 2010.
Filed under: garden. Tagged as: , .

The way I grow tomatoes is to start them in a small seed tray and then pot them up when they get big enough to handle – but only into small pots – not their final ones. It’s fairly easy to pot them up if you’re gentle with them you should have 100% success.
When it’s time to put them into bigger pots you can tell as you’ll notice little white roots sticking out of the bottom of the pot.

Start off by getting your tomatoes watered. I think it’s easier to get them out of the pots if they’ve had a drink first!
Get your grow bag material and if you’re using one the container you’ll be using. Some people put a growbag with a collar in their greenhouse and plant into the collar. You need to put extra grow bag material into the collar section.
Potting up tomatoes
What I do though is get some decent size plastic tubs and make sure they’ve got good drainage. A small drill bit is your friend here if there’s no drainage or not enough. Drill lots of holes – at least 6 in the lowest part of the base.

Get your sack of growbag material ready. I tip mine into a large plant pot as it makes it easier for me to do. You might want to tip your growbag into the pots themselves – it’s entirely up to you how comfortable you are lugging great bags about.

Fill the container almost to the right level and make a hollow space in the middle.

Next take your tomato plant and tilt it to the side and gently squeeze the sides of the pot. If it doesn’t start moving then rotate it 90′ and squeeze the other sides of the pot. Don’t tip it upside down and shake though!

Tomato plant out of pot
Once the tomato plant is out you’ll see all the little roots. Avoid damaging these and don’t break the stem!

Gently hold the plant and turn it and put it into the prepared pot. Make sure it’s sat level and then start filling in around it. Add soil up to the level of the first two leaves. The tomato stems are good at putting out roots and will develop roots in this section of stem and make it more stable.
Filling the pot
After you’ve filled it press down gently to make sure it’s bedded in well. You should give it a water and put it in it’s final place.

Tomatoes need plenty of looking after – you certainly need to attend to them every other day as a minimum and you’re best checking on them everyday. In very hot weather they need to be watered a lot too. Feed tomatoes once a week once they start producing fruit.
There’s lots of advice about pruning leaves and shoots off to make sure the plant puts enough energy into growing the right amount of fruit. Nip out the little side shoots with your thumb – I’ll add photos of these as my own tomatoes grow.